Gotham Gunplay Trashes Sensitive Area Myth Illegal Immigrant Teen Busted

NYC Defies Supreme Court, Creates Times Square "Gun-Free Zone" iStock-1421061908
A wild shooting in Times Square puts the lie to the effectiveness of so-called “sensitive area” designations.  (iStock-1421061908)

A 15-year-old law-breaking illegal immigrant from Venezuela who reportedly entered the U.S. last September has been arrested and charged as an adult in the shooting of a tourist in New York’s Times Square last week and now faces two counts of attempted murder.

In the aftermath of that incident, during which the teen allegedly fired shots at a security guard—hitting the tourist bystander instead—the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms said the shooting “Square demolishes any argument by Mayor Eric Adams, Gov. Kathy Hochul and Democrat lawmakers in Albany that their so-called “sensitive area” gun ban prevents violent crime.”

According to NBC News, the suspect has been identified as Jesus Alejandro Rivas Figueroa. He was reportedly staying at an [Illegal Immigrant] shelter in New York City. In addition to the other charges, NBC said the teen also faces charges of criminal possession of a weapon.

CNN is reporting that the teen and his mother packed and fled, and he was arrested by New York Police detectives and US Marshals in Yonkers. They tracked the teen down apparently through a family connection, the cable network said.

The teen was allegedly involved in a shoplifting incident. The woman who was shot was identified as a tourist from Brazil. According to NBC News, Figueroa is also wanted in connection with an armed robbery in the Bronx last month.

CCRKBA was quick to note how this incident proves the futility of creating so-called “sensitive areas” where licensed concealed carry is prohibited. In such zones, people cannot even keep guns in their shops, regardless of whether they previously could.

“So much for New York City’s ‘sensitive area’ blanket designation, which leaves honest citizens and merchants helpless in Times Square, and anywhere else such laws are in place,” said CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb in a statement to the media. “The problem in New York is that not all of the dangerous people are on the streets committing crime. Some of the danger is found in Albany, and in city hall, among people who write laws that leave honest citizens defenseless against criminal attack.

“You can’t get a license to keep a gun in a business located in a sensitive area, and even if you have a concealed carry license, you can’t legally carry a gun in Times Square or any other designated sensitive area,” he noted.

“I totally agree with Democrat politicians that violent crime committed with firearms is horrible,” Gottlieb continued sarcastically. “I only wish they would stop passing laws that make it easier for people to be victimized by violent criminals that these same politicians keep putting back on the streets with their insane policies.”

The incident in Times Square came on the heels of a report from the Crime Prevention Research Center (CPRC) that mass shootings primarily occur in so-called “gun-free zones.”

“The entire incident underscores what is wrong with restrictive gun control laws in New York and everywhere else,” Gottlieb stated. “These laws only penalize and restrict law-abiding citizens, while criminals flagrantly ignore them. The rest of us understand this. We’re wondering why the politicians haven’t figured it out after all this time.”

The New York Times reported that the suspect was one of three teens involved in the shoplifting caper at a JD Sports store. They were stopped by a female security guard.

The New York Times said the other teens involved had also been arrested and that the three suspects all had been attending school together.

Many questions remain, including how the teen got hold of a handgun and where it came from originally.

“Sensitive area” designations have become a popular strategy among anti-gun local governments and even state legislatures as a possible way to get around Supreme Court gun control reforms set down in the June 2022 Bruen ruling, which struck down New York’s unconstitutional concealed carry law which had kept untold numbers of Empire State citizens from exercising their right to keep and bear arms.

According to the CPRC report, “Eighty-two percent of the (mass shooting) attacks since 1998 and 94 percent since 1950 have occurred in places where guns are banned.” Proponents of so-called “sensitive area” designations have cited the potential for mass shootings as one of their reasons to prohibit firearms in such areas. But Second Amendment advocates such as CCRKBA’s Gottlieb point to such incidents as the Times Square shooting as proof that gun control has been a failed policy.

About Dave Workman

Dave Workman is a senior editor at and Liberty Park Press, author of multiple books on the Right to Keep & Bear Arms, and formerly an NRA-certified firearms instructor.

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